Top 5 Amazing Sights in South America

If you’re planning a visit to South America, try one of these top 5 amazing sights– every one of them is a testament to human fortitude and natural beauty.

1. Amazon Rainforest

A colossal, lush rainforest that spans the width of South America, stretching from the shores of Brazil to the craggy mountains of Peru.The Amazon is bursting with life – nearly one in ten of the world’s species lives in this rainforest, with potentially thousands of plants and animals that have yet to be discovered. Before 2005, the rainforest was under significant threat from cattle ranchers and farmers, who clear vast tracts of land to farm profitably. But preservation efforts have reduced the damage that the forest sustains, and since 2006 serious gains have been made in safekeeping the Amazon. It’s worth a visit to behold the green twilight underneath the vast trees, take a zip line through the luscious canopy, and see all the exotic plants and animals.

2. Machu Picchu

taken by: T029248

Further west, the Peruvian Andes are home to the USECO world heritage site, Machu Picchu. An ancient Incan city, some believe that it was an estate of the Emperor Pachacuti, while others maintain that it is a sacred site, due to the alignment of the landscape with certain astrological phenomena believed to be important to the Incas. Regardless of its intended purpose, Machu Picchu is a masterpiece of Incan architecture. Its stone walls form a network of buildings, road and courtyards – a testimony to the ancient culture’s ingenuity. The site survives in such good condition because it largely escaped vandalism by Spanish conquistadores. Visiting Machu Picchu lets you stretch your mind past our modern age, and delve into what this ancient culture must have seen – it’s definitely worth the trip.

3. Andes Mountains

Taken byDavid Baggins

If you’ve visited Mach Picchu, then you’re already familiar with the craggy mountain tops of the Andes. Try heading further south to the Argentine providence of Mendoza, where you can see the highest point in the entire range, Mt. Aconcagua. If you’re an experienced climber, this is one of the most popular climbing sites in the world. If you’re not in the mood for that kind of challenge, the mountains can be appreciated in a much more luxurious fashion: from the window of a ski lodge on the slopes of the Chilean Andes. This is where winter-loving folks congregate from all over the world to appreciate snow-capped scenery and winter sports. If you decide to visit South America in June or July, this is the place to go.

4. Atacama Desert

While you’re in Chile, you have to visit the Atacama desert, famous for being the world’s driest desert. Portions of the desert have practically never seen rain, and are devoid of moisture due to the mountains in the east, and the meteorological inversion layer caused by the Humboldt Current. Some areas do receive minimal amounts of moisture from marine fog – enough at least to support lichens and a few cacti. If you visit this region, be sure to stay in the little town of San Pedro de Atacama. There are numerous bars, restaurants and shops, as well as expedition companies that will take you on day trips to see the nearby geyser, salt flats, and dunes. The Atacama truly seems like an alien landscape, one NASA has used to test Mars rovers, and is an amazing experience for any traveler.

5. Tierra Del Fuego

Last, but not least on the list of top 5 amazing sights in South America, is an archipelago of islands almost reaches the frozen tip of Antarctica. Tierra del Fuego is an austere, beautiful landscape that is sparsely populated, but world famous. It is home to the two southernmost cities on the planet – Puerto Williams, Chile, and Ushuaia, Argentina. Both these towns are tiny, and weather a sub-polar climate – often meaning snowfall in the middle of summer. The harsh climate makes for dramatic vistas of mountains and ocean. There are archeological sites from the indigenous culture and hiking trails to be explored by eager visitors. Try investigating is the Omora Ethno botanical Park, where a sub-polar forest flourishes. This part of the world still largely untouched by human settlement, and should be on any avid traveler’s destination list.

Rest assured, you’ll never forget the trip you take to any of these top 5 amazing sights in South America. Each one is overwhelmingly beautiful, and leaves a lifelong imprint on any visitor.

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Author Bio: A world traveler and writer, Rachel lived in Chile for 5 years. She now works as a Payday Loan and Travel Blogger.

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Posted by on April 8, 2011. Filed under The List, Travel. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.